Spelunky 2? In the age of Nex Machina anything is possible

Did you catch it? In amongst the blather and breaking bones of PlayStation’s Paris Games Week press splurge? The moment between a father and daughter that wasn’t grim, predictable and clumsy? The moment that was simple, gentle, and beautifully observed? The moment that occurred in the Spelunky 2 trailer when an old hero passes his hat on to the next generation and then…?

Let’s just think about that for a second: Spelunky 2. It feels so strange to see that logo. It’s exciting, of course, because Spelunky is exciting. But it’s also completely unexpected, because Spelunky is one of those rare games that is sort of perfect.

And Spelunky is already its own sequel, of course. It’s an endless mirror-hall of sequels, a procedural platformer in which, each time you die, the game rebuilds itself around a set of inviolate rules that nonetheless manage to generate surprises, shocks, and set-pieces that seem to challenge you in new ways. It belongs to a small group of games that you suspect would resist sequels, games that seem to say everything that they need to the first time out. I loved Crackdown 2, for example, but even I can admit with the passage of time that it didn’t add anything meaningful. Equally I can’t imagine a Stranglehold 2 that conjures more excitement than the original, as much as I would love another outing for Inspector Tequila.

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